It was a long but rewarding process. After the surgical stage and several visits to the dentist, your implant-supported denture is now installed. A lot has changed in your mouth and it is ok to give you time to adapt. However, it is common at dental clinics to see that even while the denture and implants were installed perfectly, over the course of some years patients often return with problems. If you have had an All-on-4 or you are considering one, you must be aware the key towards its long-term success is an excellent oral hygiene. Your dentures are supported by implants, which although integrated remain foreign bodies that could be rejected over time if bacteria or excessive stress undermine their correct function. Here is a list of recommendations that will help you enjoy your implant-supported dentures for many years to come.
- Visit your dentist at least once a year for a thorough checkup and twice a year for a cleaning and possible adjustments. The fact that your teeth are no longer natural, does not mean you are done with going to the dentist. Patients with this kind of restoration in fact require regular attention. Since it cannot be removed, it can sometimes be hard to clean on certain areas, especially if more implants are involved. Residues of food or bacteria can not only endanger the implants, but can also cause gum inflammation or fungal diseases where not cleaned properly. The dentist can often remove the denture and give a thorough clean.
- Use a Waterpik twice a day. Just as with natural teeth, your routine should include removing the food residue, and this is easily done with a Waterpik. These are usually accessible and available in many pharmacies. Dentists recommend using it on low or medium because high can over time wear away the acrylic. This technique will allow you access beneath the denture which you can do so by the front or by the back.
- Floss under the denture at least once a day. Super Floss by Oral B is great because it includes a stiff end that helps with manipulation. Also, the spongy floss is useful for the gap between your gums and the denture.
- Get appropriate tooth brushes. There is a wide variety of sizes and functions in tooth brushes. Thinner and interdental brushes can help you reach the difficult areas of the implant-supported denture. They also help massaging the gums, which propitiates blood flow and regeneration. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Rinse daily with an antiseptic, alcohol-free mouthwash. This will help remove food particles that were not reached with the above methods. If swelling occurs, try rinsing with warm salt water for 2 or 3 days. If the swelling persists, visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Adequate oral hygiene is essential for a successful All-on-4. Dental implants require a more thorough and dedicated cleaning routine because bacteria can cause infections and therefore bone loss on implants. At the Costa Rica Dental Team, we are experts in prosthetic rehabilitation and we will design your denture to be as easy to clean as possible. However, we recommend our patients to visit Costa Rica once per year for a thorough evaluation. Contact us to schedule your next All-on-4 cleaning.